Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks from his Mt. Pleasant office Feb. 13, 2017
Proving that some personal and political disagreements are best settled over lunch, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke highly of his meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday.
Graham has been an outspoken critic of Trump, in recent weeks calling for an investigation of alleged contacts between Trump officials and Russian intelligence officials, as well as Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election. The South Carolina senator and new president were able to set aside these concerns to break bread in a meeting that Graham described glowingly.
“I had a great lunch meeting with President Trump today. He is strongly committed to rebuilding our military, which is music to my ears. President Trump is in deal-making mode, and I hope Congress is like-minded,” Graham said of the meeting.
Sen. Graham’s lunch with Trump comes less than a week after Graham and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse met with FBI Director James Comey to discuss their subcommittee investigation on Russian efforts to influence elections.
According to a statement released by Graham, “The purpose of the meeting was to make the director aware of the subcommittee’s work and to ensure that the subcommittee’s efforts do not interfere with the work of the FBI. Sens. Graham and Whitehouse look forward to using their subcommittee to inform the public of the toolbox of tactics used by Russia to undermine democracy, and working with the FBI to ensure that the FBI’s work is free of all political influence.”
Looking back on the success of his meeting with Trump, Graham stated, “How good was the meeting? I gave him my NEW cell phone number.”
Graham’s mention of trading digits with the president is reference to a 2015 incident when Trump announced the senator’s personal cell phone number during a campaign speech during which Trump also described Graham as an “idiot.”
“He doesn’t seem like a very bright guy. He actually probably seems to me not as bright as Rick Perry,” Trump said at the time. Perry would later be named as Trump’s Secretary of Energy.
Graham responded to Trump releasing his number by destroying his cell phone in a now classic video produced by Independent Journal Review.